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Publisher's Summary

From the author of Annihilation, a brilliant speculative thriller of dark conspiracy, endangered species, and the possible end of all things

Security consultant “Jane Smith” receives an envelope with a key to a storage unit that holds a taxidermied hummingbird and clues leading her to a taxidermied salamander. Silvina, the dead woman who left the note, is a reputed ecoterrorist and the daughter of an Argentine industrialist. By taking the hummingbird from the storage unit, Jane sets in motion a series of events that quickly spin beyond her control.

Soon, Jane and her family are in danger, with few allies to help her make sense of the true scope of the peril. Is the only way to safety to follow in Silvina’s footsteps? Is it too late to stop? As she desperately seeks answers about why Silvina contacted her, time is running out - for her and possibly for the world.

Hummingbird Salamander is Jeff VanderMeer at his brilliant, cinematic best, wrapping profound questions about climate change, identity, and the world we live in into a tightly plotted thriller full of unexpected twists and elaborate conspiracy.

©2021 VanderMeer Creative, Inc. (P)2021 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Hummingbird Salamander

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Somewhat Depressing but Thought Provoking

The lack of a true setting keeps you in the dark for a little too long. The main characters pathetic life would have you quit the book early were it not for a few action packed encounters. Ultimately, the book ends with a tiny glimour of hope but the hopelessness seems to prevail.

1 person found this helpful

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Engaged from start to end

Bitter, beautiful, ecological concern as on the nose as you can get it and you won't hear me complain. Every player realized perfectly and the threading of plot felt detailed but not overwhelming.

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  • interlinKED Media
  • 2021-04-11

If this is how the world ends, bring a gameboy.

Felt like Vandermeer watched Under the Silver Lake and tried to put his own spin on the formula but ended up just writing a semi-bland mystery. None of the fun abstract stuff in his other works appears in Hummingbird Salamander. The protagonist is basically The Biologist from Annihilation but lacked any likable qualities for the reader/listener to latch onto, ultimately leading to her being difficult (and then impossible) to root for. The clues she was following were sort of vanilla and never really that satisfying to uncover.

While Vandermeer certainly has more creativity than I, this book was just a slog to get through after it's first act sadly. Southern Reach and Ambergris are vastly more interesting and purposeful works, they left me thinking about them well after putting them down - ironic that Hummingbird Salamander is his most straight forward novel in many aspects, yet the most forgettable.

The narrator did an excellent job, even with the different male voices. Maybe check it out if youre a JV fan and are curious what his work would be like with all the weirdness removed?

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kathleen Hanley
  • 2021-05-10

Awful

I so enjoyed Borne but this book is just terrible. You don’t get any answers until the end and even then they are unsatisfactory. Terrible editing on the narration. The main character is just a jerk and makes so many ridiculous decisions. For example, she somehow gets explosives and knows how to use them. What? Avoid, avoid, avoid.

3 people found this helpful

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  • RICKY WRIGHT
  • 2021-04-29

Typical VanderMeer

I liked it. It wasn’t as confusing as some past works lol tbh it was really good and typical of him. If you’ve never done one of his books this could be a good one to start with, good character build and nice ending.

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  • Robert B Lower
  • 2021-04-28

Overwritten pretentious clsptrap

Hours I'll never get back. A relentless grimness, a protagonist who could never exist, a story that never materialized. The reader did what she could but had nothing to work with.
Not recommended. For anyone. The bleak wreck of the American experiment put into a book.

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  • jp
  • 2021-04-18

Eco Crime & Conspiracy Thriller

I've listened to about 500 audiobooks and this narrator's performance was masterful (Lisa Flanagan).

Jeff VanderMeer's work is often too strange (and too gross) for me, but his writing and storytelling is very good.

My husband, who likes VanderMeer's weirder novels, suggested that I read Hummingbird Salamander and I'm glad I did. I hope you do, too.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jeremiah S.E Presler
  • 2021-05-19

Wack

Really unlikable main character, lackluster reading and just a mediocre story in general. Glad it’s over.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Brian
  • 2021-05-11

a daunting tale

really struggled to finish this. I normally enjoy Jeff's books, but this one wasn't for me. the main character, just wasn't really engaging and the plot points were quite weak.

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  • Summer d
  • 2021-04-27

only because it's Jeff vandermeer

I liked it less than the others but I still liked it. I am a huge huge fan of his so I refuse to give his work anything less than 4 stars. this lacked a darkness I require . it was thought provoking and had subtle tie ins to other books ,so for that reason alone it must be read. this is only my first run through. I usually read / listen to his books at least 10 times . so maybe I will enjoy it more the next go around.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Beverly Russo
  • 2021-04-20

just not my kind of mystery

struggled to finish. just not.my type of book to read. I like thriller but no sci-fi

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  • Frances A. Dykstra
  • 2021-07-23

Give me my 11.5 hours back!

Based on my enjoyment of The Southern Reach, I purchased this title. The author failed to get me interested in any of the characters, especially the protagonist, an awful person. The situation—-a child of a wealthy family trying to make up for the evil actions of her family—was plausible. The premise that a working mom would jeopardize her job and family to pursue a ridiculous quixotic investigation with insufficient justification. What a waste of time! Too bad!